Treatment of moderate acute malnutrition by community health volunteers is cost-effective: Insights from Turkana County, Kenya

Nutrition and Food Systems(NFS)

  • December 2023
  • Policy brief

Integrating the treatment of acute malnutrition by community health volunteers (CHVs) into integrated community case management (iCCM) can improve acute malnutrition treatment outcomes. However, little is known about the cost-effectiveness of such an intervention in Kenya. This study assessed the cost-effectiveness of integrating the treatment of moderate acute malnutrition (MAM) by CHVs into the iCCM program in Turkana County, Kenya.

We conducted an economic evaluation by including costs from the provider and beneficiaries. The cost per disability-adjusted life year (DALY) averted was the primary measure for comparison.

Treatment of MAM by CHVs and in health facilities was more effective and at a lower cost compare to the health facility-based approach alone. The respective costs per death and DALY averted were US$ 8,651 and US$ 393 in the intervention group compared to US$ 16,401 and US$ 754 in the control group. The intervention group spent less per child treated and recovered than the control group: US$ 211 vs. US$ 320 an US$ 303 vs. US$ 574, respectively. Treating MAM by CHVs an health facilities was cost-effective compared to facility-based treatment alone.



Theme Leader, Health and Wellbeing (HaW)

Elizabeth Kimani-Murage

Elizabeth, a Public Health Nutrition Specialist and a Research Scientist…

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